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Front Row (L-R): Ivette Morales, Baraka Douglas, Quaneesha Shields, Jessica Kaluzny, Ashley Weinberger, Jumari Callaway, Meg Birgen, Diana Lockett

Second Row (L-R): Jaclyn Ross, Madison Caropino, Kelsey Stenzel, Carly Cohen, DJ Edwards, Jin Su Seo, Lidia Carreras Ochoa, Jon Vanegas

Third Row (L-R): Katie O’Leary, Amy Siebenmorgen, Bianca Desamour, Viv Ortiz, Emily Redfern, Rachel Bowers, Krystiana Schaffer, Madison Chastain, Liam Wintroath,

Back Row (L-R): Maddi Larsen, Jo-Ann Mullooly, Andre Barnes, John Austin Tubbs, Rachel Waletzko, David Cambra Morera, Brady Fehringer, John Taylor

By |August 22nd, 2017|Categories: yearbook|Comments Off on 2017-2018

May 2016: Samantha Hyland

Samantha working with students.

Samantha working with students.

Ministry: De Marillac Academy, San Francisco, California

College: La Salle University

What do you do? At De Marillac Academy, I serve as the Academic Resource Teacher, working with grades 4-8. I work with our students who have documented learning needs and help to identify those who need further academic or behavioral assistance.

What would you say to a friend from home who questioned why you chose to live with the Brothers?

I continually get the question of “why do you choose live with the Brothers?” My response is simple! For two years I have had the opportunity to grow and learn with over 200 years of combined teaching experience under my own roof! I come home each night and I am surrounded by heartwarming laughter and debriefing of the day’s events. They are truly the best community members.

Sacred Heart Community 16Why would you recommend joining Lasallian Volunteers to a college senior considering volunteering?

Being a college senior is an exciting, but also a scary time in one’s life. There are so many uncertainties that come with graduation. The LV program is a wonderful way to transition into the working world. The support and compassion the LVs experience from the staff, community and service sites makes a huge difference in your first year as a working adult.

Why would you recommend that prospective donors make a contribution to Lasallian Volunteers?

The LVs are blessed with the contributions made by many donors so that we may serve and live without worrying about the funds it takes to support us. The retreats and year-round support would never happen without the generous contributions of our wonderful donors.

How would you like to continue your involvement with the Lasallian family after your time with Lasallian Sacred Heart BDayVolunteers?

I am blessed to continue with the Lasallian family for the next academic year as I transition out of my LV experience and have been hired on to continue serving my students at De Marillac Academy. I would have never been able to have this opportunity if I was not a Lasallian Volunteer. I look forward to taking the lessons and values I have learned from being an LV and applying it to the next stage in my life!

Have you noticed any signs of success in your work? 

My service at DMA is working with students who may feel like they have tried everything and they still don’t “get it.” They may not have the skills in their toolbox that they need to feel successful. And this is why I love my service. I meet my students where they are. I meet them when they are frustrated, confused, silly, and confident. I provide them the tools that will ensure their success. My goal for them is to understand their strengths and challenges, and self-advocate for what they need. I see success when my students are able to come to me with work of which they are proud, or with something that challenged them before and now they just “get it.”

Hyland With Student FunHow has your involvement with the Brothers affected you?

The Brothers I live with are literally the best people in the world (but I may be biased). My Bros are kind, driven, humble and compassionate. They are living examples of our founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle. I cannot even count the number of times I threw out the lesson I had planned for the next day because one of the Brothers gave me advice about how to approach it differently. They ask me each night how my students are, naming them and caring for them like their own. My involvement with the Brothers has made me a better teacher, but, more importantly, has made me a well-rounded individual.

What is the most important “thing,” do you think, that your students need from you? 

As my two years of being a Lasallian Volunteer and the Resource Teacher at DMA come to an end, I have reflected upon what I provide for my students. I provide them with things like academic support, test taking strategies, and guidance for taking notes. But at the end of the day, this is not what they value most from me as a teacher. After I am done teaching, I always shake the students’ hands and tell them I am proud of them. Every day, I witness success, no matter how big or small, and I feel it is crucial for them to be aware of their growth. Every student should know that someone is proud of them and that they are making a difference.

By |April 29th, 2016|Categories: lv of the month, news + events|Comments Off on May 2016: Samantha Hyland

April 2016: Julia Kueter

Julia as her favorite children's book character Junie B. Jones

Julia as her favorite children’s book character Junie B. Jones

Ministry: Saint Cecilia School and Academy, St. Louis, Missouri

College: Christian Brothers University

What do you do? My day to day schedule contains a myriad of responsibilities: teaching K-8 Computers, facilitating the 6-8 Library, aiding in Kindergarten and Second Grade, moderating K-8 recess and lunch, attending K-8 fieldtrips, and facilitating our afternoon enrichment and aftercare tutoring programs.

What is the most important “thing,” do you think, that your students/clients/guests need from you? 

This year I have had the opportunity to work with three exceptional kindergarten students three days a week. They are quite advanced in reading and math and extremely curious! Recently I have been doing a lot of full day subbing throughout our school, which has caused inconsistency in our enrichment routine. When I see their class in passing, one student in particular will ask “Miss Kueter, are you coming to get me today?”. The need for consistency is crucial even for our youngest students. To keep consistency (even when we can’t have our enrichment time) I strive to check in with these three students during recess, lunch, or other times on days that I am subbing.

Which of the core values (Faith, Community, Service) are most important to you? 

I find the core value of community unique to our program and essential to the service that we do. Community for me offers consistency, routine, and support. So much of my service day and week can be dynamic- changing on a day-to-day basis. Having a steady spot to slow down, refuel, and share with others helps to keep me grounded.

Bro. James Miller Community

Bro. James Miller Community

If you could project ahead a few years and look back to now, how do you think your experiences with those you serve and with the Brothers will have changed you?

I’m quite certain that without serving as a Lasallian Volunteer for two years, I would not be pursuing a career in education. My combined experiences in Browning, MT and St. Louis, MO have been influential in my own personal discernment.

What would you say to a friend from home who questioned why you chose to live with the Brothers?

I would ask this friend why not live with the Brothers? The Christian Brothers are some of the most fascinating and inspiring men I know! They bring wisdom, experience, guidance, support, and lots of entertainment to community life.

Why would you recommend Lasallian Volunteers to a college senior considering volunteering?

If you are looking to do an intentional service year then I would highly suggest the LV program. The support network of the LV cohort, staff, Brothers, alumni, is highly impressive. This support network expands way beyond professional support at your service site. Being valued as a unique individual on his or her own spiritual, vocational, and personal journey is crucial. I never thought that I would build such strong friendships with people who live across the country and only physically connect with for a few days a year.

Why would you recommend that a prospective donor make a contribution to Lasallian Volunteers?

Contributing to the LV program is investing in: the future of our students and clients, the personal and vocational journey of our volunteers, and the continued presence of the Lasallian charism.

How would you like to continue your involvement with the Lasallian family after your time with the Lasallian Volunteers?mass with the pope

Before attending Christian Brothers University the term Lasallian was not a part of my vocabulary. Now it is a phrase I can’t seem to distance myself from. Following my time with the Lasallian Volunteers I plan to return to CBU to pursue my M.A.T. (Masters in the Art of Teaching). Whether or not my vocational journey leads me to a Lasallian school after graduation, I know that being Lasallian will remain core to who I am.

By |March 31st, 2016|Categories: lv of the month, news + events, Uncategorized|Comments Off on April 2016: Julia Kueter

Spiritual Companion Initiative

In the fall of 2014, the Lasallian Volunteers received a grant from the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) to further develop and support current Lasallian Volunteers in their vocational and faith journeys and engage LV alum to walk with them as Spiritual Companions.
IMG_3312The FTE grant allowed for the Spiritual Companion Initiative to come to life, first by bringing together a wide range of expert and experienced spiritual directors and Lasallian educators to develop a curriculum for training those LV Alums who will be companioning current LVs. Then, after an application and interview process, LV Alums who said yes to the invitation to be Spiritual Companions, were brought together for a training.

Spiritual Companions will begin accompanying current LVs over the summer and next service year. The Spiritual Companion Initiative is one aspect of many in supporting the faith journey and development of current LVs and LV Alum.

Companions on the Journey

a reflection by Erica Sage Pitts, 06-08

“Let Us Remember…” are three words that unite Lasallians worldwide and were the words that opened our training. A group of eight LV alums gathered to learn more about what it would mean to be Spiritual Companions to current volunteers.
As LV alums over the past 24 years, we served all across the country and currently live all over the U.S. as well. We said “yes” to being the first cohort of LV Alum to walk with volunteers on their spiritual journey in this way. The gracious religious order of the Cenacle Sisters, whose charism is spiritual direction, housed us at their convent in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, IL.

Spiritual Directors, Brother Michael French and Marci Madary facilitated the training and offering time for meditation, journaling, prayer, and song so we might dig deep within ourselves throughout the weekend in the hopes of tuning our ears to better hear and serve others.

“I was reminded that not only is the physical, day-to-day work of being an LV a great challenge, but perhaps an equal challenge is trying to navigate emotionally, mentally, and spiritually through all the experiences one has as an LV, said Tom Cook, 02-04, who served in Kansas City, Missouri. “On top of all that, an LV is trying to discern what their next step is going to be after they finish the LV program.”Pitts copy

As an alum who has been out of the LV program since 2008 and has since given a great deal of energy and attention to her husband and three children, this retreat was a chance to take a step back from where God has me currently and reconnect with a program that influenced me in a great way. Nervous about my five month old daughter being away from me for hours at a time and unsure of how this position as Spiritual Companion would take shape, I was quickly put at ease with Brother Michael’s opening prayer and exercise on the many images of our good God.   Throughout the weekend, I was reminded of the verse from James that calls all believers to “be quick to listen and slow to speak,” (James 1:19). As a group, we took part in multiple training sessions where we practiced improving our listening skills in an attempt to understand what it means to truly hear one another in a loving, nonjudgmental way. Our desire as believers of God and as Spiritual Companions is to be effective listeners who hear the cries of the hearts of current volunteers while walking with and speaking life to them.

“I felt thankful to be in the presence of generous LV Alums who are willing to give of themselves to serve the current LVs in our new roles of Spiritual Companions. I left thinking what a blessing it is to be part of our Lasallian family” said Tom Cook.

In much the same way that Saint John Baptist de La Salle did not intend for the Brothers to walk alone on their journeys as educators with the poor, we hope to encourage, affirm, and walk with LVs on their spiritual journeys.

By |March 17th, 2016|Categories: news + events, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Spiritual Companion Initiative

March 2016: Tidiany Diarra

Diarra,-TidianyMinistry: La Salle School

College: Lewis University

What do you do? I’m a Recreational Coordinator and Mentor at a therapeutic residential treatment and alternative to detention facility for youth experiencing trauma, mental illness, and abuse.

Why did you choose to become a Lasallian Volunteer?  

I am a Lasallian Volunteer because I felt that it was my calling to give back to others who are less fortunate. My hopes for my time in the program have definitely been realized. When I come in every day and do what needs to be done I don’t even feel like it’s work, because I love giving back! The boys also see me as a mentor to them which also helps me to see I am doing the right thing.

What is the most important “thing,” do you think, that your students need from you?  Unknown-1

The most important thing that the boys need from me and that I also know I am doing, is patience and listening to what they have to say! I show the boys I am listening by dropping whatever I am doing to listen to what they have to say and guide them to the right path.

Have you noticed any signs of success in your service?  

I have noticed multiple signs of success in my service. For example, one of our young boys got discharged, he told me he loved me before he left, that really touched my heart to hear that. Also, when some of the boys are upset they are comfortable enough to come speak to me about what they are going through.

What would you say to a friend from home who questioned why you chose to live with the Brothers?

People say college is the best four years of your life, I think this program is the best year by far. The Brothers are there to mentor you as well, which is very important. Also living in community and having time with them really helps get through the day.

Unknown-3Why would you recommend the LV program to a college senior considering volunteering?

Becoming a Lasallian Volunteer really refreshes your mind due to the faith, community, and service. It gives you time to think about what you really want to do in life and at the same time you’re doing great things for yourself and the community by helping people in need!

Why would you recommend a contribution to the LV Program from a prospective donor?

We need to have this program stay alive forever! If we didn’t have Lasallian Volunteers more and more people will fall back into poverty with no helping hand. It’s a big help to the communities and for young students that graduated and don’t know what their next move is.

How would you like to continue your involvement with the Lasallian family after your time with the Lasallian Unknown-2Volunteers? 

After my time as an LV, I definitely will donate back when I can! I would also love to come back and talk about my experience with Volunteers. I will continue to spread the word about the program. Whatever I can do to help I will do, without a doubt.

By |March 1st, 2016|Categories: lv of the month, news + events|Comments Off on March 2016: Tidiany Diarra